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Sphere of Influence by Rev. Frances D. Montgomery, CM,NST
March 25th, 2018 10:30 pm     A+ | a-
 
 
Psalm 18, Verse 14.  “LET THE WORDS OF MY MOUTH AND THE MEDITATION OF MY HEART BE ACCEPTABLE IN THY SIGHT, O LORD, MY STRENGTH, AND MY REDEEMER.”
 
        I have no problem with the word Redeemer.  Redeeming has to do with getting back, or freeing from, anything detrimental or negative.  This definition is from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.  Jesus taught us by his example to overcome and take responsibility for our actions.  In that sense he redeemed us through his teachings.  The Psalm teaches us to consider what we say and think because no matter, good or bad, if only in our mind or heart, GOD knows and we want to be acceptable to the GOD Force in all we do. 

        Now I want to discuss our “Sphere of Influence.”  

        Basically, I first heard about that term many years ago when I started into the Real Estate Business.  It was one of those catch phrases used in every seminar you attended – it meant to get the attention of everyone you know, everyone you talk with, everyone you meet, and then get them to tell everyone THEY know, talk with and meet about YOU and the fact that YOU are a Realtor.  Remind them if they are buying or selling to remember YOU and have folks call YOU.  It was supposed to turn each and every Realtor into a millionaire!  Don’t we all wish?
 
        But, the point of it all was to increase your sphere of influence; to attempt to impress upon everyone you brushed acquaintance with that you were in the real estate business.
 
        Well, we all have a sphere of influence, whether we are aware of it or not and it has nothing to do with selling real estate.  Each of us, every day of our lives, has an influence upon every one we meet.  Every thing we say, either seriously or in jest, has an impact on people around us.  It does have to do with controlling our destiny.  It also may have a strong impact on someone else’s life, even though we are not aware of it. 
Do you always remember to engage your brain before you start to waggle your tongue?  Do you realize that something you may pop off about could just hurt someone else deeply?  Do you think before you speak?  Sometimes something just pops out of our mouths and someone else hears what we said and like a stone in a large lake, the ripples go out forever.
 
        So it is with you.  I have heard myself quoted by someone – and thought – I am not Perfect.  Why on earth would someone pay any attention to ME?  Who am I to be quoted?  What if something I said misled someone?  That, to me, is a terrible responsibility.  It made me very aware that we must all strive to watch our words.  Be aware of our actions.  By attempting to live the Spiritualistic Life, on a daily basis, we never know how someone takes what we said or did and applies it in their own life. 
 
        Once, on a hospital visit with my husband – Jim did the hyperbaric chamber 5 days a week for an 8 week duration, a conversation I had with a nurse there – and for the life of me I cannot remember the subject nor what I had said – caused the nurse to come over to me when we were leaving and say “thank you for sharing.  You have no idea how much your conversation meant to me.”  I just heard from her recently – our experience a number of years ago – but she phoned and we met.  Her comment the other day was that I had given her hope.  I still have no idea what I had said but to this day she still remembers it.  People, this isn’t about me, it is about all of us and how we, each and every one of us, unknowingly affects people.  It certainly should give you pause.  This church, this religion, Spiritualism, teaches personal responsibility.  We all know about Karma.  How are we building ours?
 
        You parents should know from experience – say something you do not want repeated and what is the very next thing out of your child’s mouth?  Especially in public?
There’s your sphere of influence - in spades.
 
        Like many of us who say this or that and do not think about the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart being acceptable in God’s sight, we just say whatever comes out.  We say things conversationally, certainly not in a proselytizing manner, - a good word – which means attempting to convert or change someone to your way of thinking, – nevertheless we speak.  Someone listens.  Did you say something good?  Was it kind?  Did you even think at all before you opened your mouth?  Was it just normal interactive yakking?  And yet who in your sphere of influence is listening?  Maybe someone standing close by whom you do not even know.
 
        There are people I know who would never say anything negative, gossipy, malicious or mean.  I have a niece like that.  When it comes to anything not positive in a conversation, or if I am venting about something or someone, she always hesitates, and then comes out with something like “I’m sure they didn’t mean it like that” or “maybe they were just having a bad day.”  I recall one conversation in particular, someone had said “when life gives you lemons, learn to make lemonade.”  My niece very seriously and sincerely asked the person “How do you make your lemonade?”  I thought snidely to myself, doesn’t she GET ANYTHING?  Sometimes she makes me nutty with being a Pollyanna goody two shoes.  Sometimes I KNOW she wants to agree about the negatives being discussed.  To her credit she never opens her mouth.  She is a better person than I am in that respect and she does
think before she speaks.  I can only hope to learn from her and engage my brain before I open my mouth.
 
        One of Mom’s favorite thoughts was also taken from Psalms.  I can’t tell you how often she would say, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”  That is found in the 51st Psalm, verse 10.  What a very positive affirmation that is.
 
        All of this comes back to our sphere of influence.  We need to be aware of what we do, how we act and react, what we say in our everyday lives and conversations.  We never know WHO is listening, how they are interpreting our words, which person our “Sphere of Influence” will affect. 
 
        We are responsible.  That is one of the main tenets or principles in the beliefs of Spiritualism.
 
        In closing, I ask you and will strive to remember for myself to dwell on this phrase:
 
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in they sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.”
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